Italian tire firm Pirelli has sealed a three-year agreement as the exclusive supplier to the prestigious Citroen Racing Trophy: a one-make rally series that will take place throughout 10 countries in 2011.
The Citroen Racing Trophy is open to all of Citroen’s two-wheel drive rally cars, including the C2-R2 MAX and the recently-unveiled DS3 R3, which claimed five class victories during its debut season last year: including third overall on the Rallye du Valais in Switzerland.
The cars will use a selection of Pirelli’s asphalt and gravel tires this year, which are based on a technology that is similar to that of the covers supplied to the World Rally Championship, from 2008 to 2010. These were extremely resistant tires, bearing a puncture rate of less than 0.02% over the three years when Pirelli was exclusive supplier to the series.
Specifically, the DS3 R3 will use of a 17-inch RX and RE asphalt tire and a 15-inch K tire on gravel.
The R2 cars will use the same range of tires, but the asphalt RX and RE covers will be 16-inch.
The 10 countries taking part in the Citroen Racing Trophy this year are Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The ground-breaking series gives competitors the maximum flexibility by allowing them to mix and match events between different countries, with about 100 European rallies participating during the course of the season. This year’s Citroen Racing Trophy will get underway with the Rallye Torrie in Portugal and with Rallye Sunseeker in the United Kingdom, with both competitions taking place at the end of February over the same weekend.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “It’s a great pleasure and privilege for us to renew our association with Citroen in rallying. This time, Pirelli’s focus is on supporting the champions of tomorrow, who are set to learn their trade all over Europe thanks to the Citroen Racing Trophy: an excellent training ground that will ensure the future of the sport is in safe hands. Rallying remains a key plank of Pirelli’s motorsport philosophy, which is why we are particularly pleased to be present with Citroen in this exciting and innovative one-make series that will see our tires competing with up-and-coming talent on some of Europe’s most important international rallies.
”Pirelli Tire North America designs, develops, manufactures and markets tires for passenger vehicles in both the original equipment and replacement markets as well as markets and distributes tires for motorcycles and motorsports. Located in Rome, Georgia, Pirelli’s Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) employs state-of-the-art technology to manufacture tires for both export and domestic markets. For more information please visit www.us.pirelli.com.